Virginia cat-sitting company delivers purr-fect service
All cats. All the time. That’s the focus of AuPurr CatCare Professional Feline Child Care, located in Fairfax and started by Sondi Moore in 2009. From overnight care for cats to daily visits, AuPurr does it all.
“Some people say, ‘Oh, the kid next door comes and takes care of my cat,’” Moore says. “The kid next door isn’t licensed or bonded or insured. The kid next door can’t give insulin shots or sub-Q (subcutaneous) fluids.” Moore runs a background and police record check on every cat sitter. All sitters are part time, and four started out as clients. She even employs a licensed veterinarian and vet tech as sitters. Each 30-minute visit for one cat is $18; each additional cat is $2 more. AuPurr also offers a taxi service for cats for $25.
Members often mention AuPurr sitters’ use of peacock feathers to befriend the cats. Mary Wheeler of Fairfax says her cats still play with the feathers. The first time Wheeler used AuPurr was the first time she returned from a weeklong trip to find her cats just as calm as they were before she left. “They were eating correctly,” she says. “They weren’t spazzing out.”
Always a cat lover — she got her first cat at age 5 — Moore currently has eight cats ranging in age from 2 to 17, and calls them her children just as she does the cats of clients. However, she didn’t envision one day she would own a successful cat care business. After working in property management for new construction, office buildings and high rise condos for 32 years, and being on call every day, seven days a week throughout that time, Moore retired in 2005 and began working in the office for a pet-sitting business. Moore realized she basically ran the office, and things were going smoothly until the boss came in one day and announced the business was sold, but the new owners won’t change anything. She and her colleagues soon learned that wasn’t the case.
The changes caused Moore to leave and start her business a year later. Her goal is to grow her business to 500 clients by 2017. It’s feasible considering how quickly the business has grown since opening. She started with six clients and within three months that number jumped to 26. “I had one of the clients put me on Angie’s List,” Moore says. “From one Angie’s List review … I have 240 clients and 21 sitters.”
Maree Watkins of Fairfax found AuPurr on the List when her usual sitter was unavailable. “I do think it’s nice to have somebody who really knows about cats,” she says.
The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.